Helpline for Muslims starts tomorrow

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (centre) during the Religious Rehabilitation Group's annual lunch retreat on June 9, 2015.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (centre) during the Religious Rehabilitation Group's annual lunch retreat on June 9, 2015.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

MUSLIMS needing help on religious matters will have a convenient means to seek advice when a telephone helpline set up by the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG) begins operations tomorrow.

Launched by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the Khadijah Mosque yesterday, it is targeted at those seeking information about extremism and radicalisation, those looking for clarification on religious concepts that are misused by extremist groups, and people seeking advice regarding family members or friends who they suspect have been radicalised.

RRG counsellors well versed in issues related to extremism and radicalisation research will man the helpline.

"We want to save people from being radicalised. Young persons, like the 17-year-old who was recently arrested, may be vulnerable to radical influences online," Mr Teo said at the helpline's launch, just before breaking fast with Muslim community members.

RRG vice-chairman Mohamed Ali said the helpline can prevent young people from taking in religious information from the wrong sources, and counsellors can help clarify doubts. The helpline (1800-774-7747) will be publicised through Facebook, and operates from 9am to 5pm from Mondays to Fridays. Callers after operating hours can leave a message and will be contacted the next working day.

osadaj@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2015, with the headline 'Helpline for Muslims starts tomorrow'. Print Edition | Subscribe